Trump border wall ask: $1B for 62 miles

  • The $999 million requested by the White House in its budget supplement for just defense and border security spending would cover just 48 miles of new wall, according to justification documents from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by CNN.
  • The budget request documents also make clear that the Trump administration is looking to ramp up border security elsewhere, specifying millions to bolster detention facilities and legal support for building the wall.
  • W. Ralph Basham, a former Customs and Border Protection commissioner under the Bush administration, said instead of paying for a concrete border wall the government should strategically fund increases in surveillance technology and the construction of additional fencing based upon recommendations made by DHS.
  • Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testified to Congress in February that some border patrol agents made him aware of their concerns about a solid, concrete wall as opposed to see-through fencing.
  • Experts also said at the same House Homeland Security Committee hearing that a border fence could have advantages over a concrete wall, because agents could more easily see across the border.

The Trump administration wants the first $1 billion of border wall funding to cover 62 miles — including replacing some existing fencing along the southern border.
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